Alcoholism is serious and powerful. Lifelong recovery is possible through education and treatment. Alcohol abuse and dependence has the potential to profoundly damage health, relationships and lives. It impacts people of all ages and has far reaching consequences. Despite this, addicted persons can recover with professional support. Whether you struggle with alcohol or you care for someone who does, the following materials can help you understand the disease and determine appropriate next steps.

Alcohol addiction is serious, but recovery is possible. You may ask what is the difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence? Answer: In short, alcohol abuse is too much, too often and alcohol dependence is the inability to quit. Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that leads to the failure to fulfill responsibilities at work, home or school and/or repeated drinking in situations in which it is physically hazardous.

Alcohol dependence may include a drinker’s increase in tolerance, withdrawal syndrome, unsuccessful attempts to cut down or even quit drinking altogether, lose control of their alcohol us and consistently drink more and for longer than intended. The cardinal features of alcohol dependence are compulsion (inability to refrain from taking that drink), loss of control over alcohol (can’t quit) and continued drinking no matter what the consequences.

Extreme alcohol consumption can cause memory loss (blackouts), complete loss of coordination and alcohol poisoning. In some cases, alcohol overdose can be fatal. And long-term effects of alcohol abuse can be serious and life altering including memory loss, neurological damage and physical complications. Excessive use of alcohol can lead to abuse and dependence, both of which may ultimately require treatment. Individuals who abuse alcohol may develop physical symptoms upon abrupt discontinuation or drastic reduction of alcohol consumption. As with any drug addiction, physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms from alcohol will develop in anyone who has regularly been drinking heavily for an extended period of time if and when intake is suddenly curtailed.

Despite its negative effects, alcohol abuse and addiction can be successfully managed. Counseling is an integral part of addressing and treating drug and alcohol abuse and behavioral health issues. At Pathways Florida, addiction counseling builds a strong foundation for life in recovery. During rehabilitation, clients have the opportunity to participate in individual therapeutic counseling sessions, group counseling, family counseling and specialty treatment groups.

While our clients may share the disease of addiction, their varied co-occurring disorders, backgrounds, cultures, family dynamics and belief systems necessitate personalized behavioral health and substance addiction counseling. For this reason, each client receives individual counseling that focuses on his or her unique needs. Whether you have gotten a DUI and have been referred for treatment from the courts or you have observed that your life would be better without the added stress of your alcohol use, you can find your answers and the skills to turn your life around at Pathways Florida drug and alcohol treatment center.

Generally, rehab begins with alcohol detox and medical management of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Since withdrawal symptoms can be particularly severe, medical supervision is strongly recommended for safe alcohol detox. Once the client has gone through alcohol detox, they often begin some form of behavioral therapy, which addresses underlying causes of alcoholism and teaches coping strategies to prevent relapse. Behavioral treatment works well in conjunction with medication, which is commonly used in alcohol rehab to reduce cravings and prevent relapse.

Family counseling involves the family in the recovery process so that familial dysfunction contributing to addiction can be identified and resolved. Family counseling also helps break the cycle of addiction by educating parents, spouses, children and siblings before they, too, fall victim to alcoholism.
In addition to alcohol detox and rehab, support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous play a big role in recovery. These groups often give alcoholics a feeling of acceptance as well as opportunities to share experiences, find encouragement and help others recover from alcoholism. The first steps toward recovering from alcoholism are recognizing the problem and seeking professional help from people who care. Please explore Pathways Florida’s alcohol rehab programs and contact us for more information today.

Recovery from alcohol dependence is possible. The benefits of treatment include: reduced substance abuse; decreased criminal activity; increased employment; improved physical and mental health; reduced family problems; reduced incidences of child abuse and neglect; decreased homelessness and dependence on public dependence.